TROY, Mich. (WXYZ) — A woman has been charged for stealing mail from residents in Troy, police said.
Khaira Howard of Detroit was arraigned Thursday on felony charges of receiving and concealing property, possession of stolen financial transaction devices and a license violation.
In recent weeks, several residents have been reporting mail theft, saying important pieces of mail were stolen, which included at least one case of an attempt to cash a forged check. Police discovered envelopes full of mail from dozens of different addresses around the city that all appeared to have been stolen.
Residents also found envelopes of open mail lying in the street.
On Jan. 4, Troy police were called to Troy Athens High School after piles of paper were found in the parking lot. Police say the opened packages and envelopes may have previously contained checks.
Police in Troy said they’ve been conducting extra patrols in a neighborhood near Crooks Road and Big Beaver Road.
While surveilling, an office saw a woman opening a mailbox trying to remove mail. The officer stopped the woman in her vehicle. Inside her vehicle, police found several pieces of mail belonging to Troy residents including personal checks and credit cards in other people’s names.
Troy police are warning residents about this trend, reminding residents of the following tips:
- Collect mail daily; NEVER leave it in your mailbox overnight
- Switch to paperless billing
- Never place outgoing mail in your mailbox with the red flag raised
- Hand outgoing mail directly to a mail carrier or drop it off at the post office
- If you plan to be out of town, arrange for your mail to be kept at the post office until you return
“We continue to ask our residents to be vigilant amid a rise in mail theft reports. Stolen mail can lead to identity theft, stolen checks and negatively affect your credit rating,” the police department said.